Material Flow Balance For Germany

Focusing on those material flows which are linked to economic activities, a domestic material flow balance of Germany has been calculated (Schütz and Bringezu 1993; Bringezu and Schütz 1995; FSO 1995, 2000). It comprises the physical mass balance of the domestic extraction from the environment, domestic deposition and release to the environment, imports and exports (see Table 8.2). It aims to

• provide an overview of the physical basis of the economy, and combine information from different statistics (for example, production statistics and environmental statistics) in a coherent framework,

• establish a structured information base that can be used to derive indicators for progress towards sustainability, and

• develop a physical satellite that can be used for integrated economic and environmental reporting.

The overview provides the following major points of information (Table 23.1). The throughput of water dominates the account. This category is treated separately, because the sum of all inputs and outputs would only be meaningful in terms of water use. A distinction was made between used and unused water input. The latter comprises drainage

Table 23.1 Domestic material flow balance for Germany, 1996

Input (kg/capita)

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